Chapter 25: The Tragic Case of Albert Hobson

As promised. An excerpt from Chapter 25. Now you can never say I’m not a man of my word. (Well you could but I’ll just deny it

Albert Hobson was an accountant. A humble accountant from Seattle where the majority of his life had been rather, uneventful. He was born. Spent some time as a child, then as a teenager and eventually became a young adult. He met a girl or two, but nothing ever really became of it on either occasion. Albert went off to college, studied accounting, because it seemed the sensible thing to do, and soon became an accountant. More years passed, and Albert Hobson became Mr. Albert Hobson and then just Mr. Hobson. Before long Mr. Hobson was a man approaching midlife and his only regret was that he did not have any particularly interesting stories to tell at cocktail parties. That is until roughly two years ago when he met, at a cocktail party, a particularly interesting man.

This man of interest was named Phillip and spoke mostly in low grumbled growls. Albert remembered distinctly having 2 drinks with Phillip in the hopes that the mumbling and growling would lead him to some type of interesting story to tell at the next tell cocktail party. After the second drink however Mr. Hobson’s memory of that particular night became somewhat fuzzy. As a matter of fact the remainder of the night was a complete blank, which was peculiar because that had never happened to Albert before, not even in college. And even more peculiar was after that particular incident, Albert Hobson had begun to experience, on multiple occasions, losing large chunks of time, during the likes of which, Mr. Hobson could not account for his actions or whereabouts, nor could he explain why after these blackouts, he would awaken, often times nude and almost always covered in dried blood. Dried blood and yet no open, or even recently closed wounds from which the blood could have escaped to cover him and then dry. This specific detail seemed to bother Mr. Hobson above all others, as through his expertly honed powers of deductive reasoning, skills attained through his rather electrifying career as an accountant, he had quickly come to the conclusion that the dried blood that covered his hands and face, particularly his mouth and chin, did not, in fact, belong to him.

Now ordinarily Mr. Hobson would have been delighted to be so knowledgeable about a man who suddenly begin to experience random ad unpredictable black out spells where at the conclusion of which the poor sap would awake stark naked, covered in some unknown person or animal’s dried blood and have absolutely no recollection of the past 24 to 48 hours. Such knowledge of a possibly murderous and blood-obsessed narcoleptic psychopath would have made for excellent storytelling at any cocktail party Mr. Hobson had the social status to attend, as well as for the ones he did not. Mr. Hobson, however, told no such stories. He never said anything to anyone about these occurrences. On the contrary, he went through great lengths to convince himself that these isolated incidents were no more than a reoccurring dream, a very odd dream that he hoped to soon wake from, forever.

“Hobson wake up.” said a foreign voice in a harsh and raspy tone.

Albert Hobson stirred but dare not open his eyes, the dream hadn’t ended yet.

“Hobson! I said snap out of it!”

Mr. Hobson felt a hard, heavy handed slap across the face.  He opened his eyes immediately.

“Wha? What’s going on?” Mr. Hobson asked from his back, his voice trembling as he spoke. He felt dazed, but couldn’t tell if it was because he was still half-asleep or if it was due to the slap across the face. Mr. Hobson put a hand to his stinging left cheek. “Whooo are you?”

Albert was staring into the face of a very intimidating man, his face and head covered in thick silver hair. An expertly trimmed beard and mustache created a framework for a ruggedly square shaped face. Mr. Hobson couldn’t help but think of how the silver mane looked almost more like fur than facial hair.

“I’m Greyman.” The silver haired man growled.

Well of course, thought Mr. Hobson that seems sensible. Hobson sat up. “Is this a dream?” He asked.

“What? No you idiot. Pull it together, it’s almost time.”

“Time? Time for what? Where am I?”

“You’re home.”

“Home?” Mr. Hobson became even more confused. “This isn’t my – What’s going on here? Have I been kidnapped?”

“Calm down pup! Bleeding Sensors, always claiming the victim. If you bastards had known what you’d done to get here, well you’d be singing a different song.”

“Oh God did I black out again. Jesus why does this keep happening to me?”

“Ahhh enough of that, those times are over now. Things’ve changed.”

“What? What’s changed? What’s going on? What do you know?” Albert jumped up and grabbed a hold to Greyman’s jacket lapels, partly in panic, partly in an attempt to shake the information out of him.

“Git yer paws off of me.” A brisk back hand caught Hobson across the face and sent him flying back to the ground. He rubbed the right side of his face that now stung just as much as the left.

“Listen here pup, I’m going to explain everything to you but if ye ever touch me again I’m going to rip you’re bloody throat out myself.”

“I’m – I’m sorry, I’m just so confused.” Hobson dropped his head into his heads. His heart trembled, he felt himself on the verge of tears.

“Calm down boy, I’ll explain everything, but you have to understand, we don’t have much time. So no questions eh?”

Hobson nodded in agreement his face still buried in his hands.

“First off you need to know what ye are and that’s a class A Sensor, top of your class actually, which is odd considering what a whelp you are.”

Hobson looked up from his wallowing only for Greyman to read the confusion written across his face.

“You’re a scout, like a mole, a sleeper agent.”

Nothing…

“You’re a monster mate, a predator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, both literally and figuratively.”

“What are you talking about? I’m not a monster.” Hobson almost laughed. “I’m an accountant!”

“You’re a BEASTMAN boy! A bloody werewolf! A cross between a man and an animal. You ain’t a man no more, Haven’t been for quite some time.

The Completion of Chapter 24

It’s time for a book update. Which is good because I have an update for you. It would have been awkward if it had been time for an update and I didn’t have one. Then I’d have to make up excuses as to why I didn’t have what I was supposed to have. Then you’d be looking at me with that look that you have when I show up without something when I’m suppose to show up with something. Like that time I showed up without my pants.  Haha do you remember that? You should have seen your face, that was a crazy night, but that’s neither here nor there. What is here however, is the book update.

So I finished chapter 24. Yep, finished it. And just to fill you in, during the last book update I informed you that I had completed chapter 16. Apparently I’d written 8 additional chapters between now and then but life got crazy so I didn’t get to blog about it then. But I’m blogging about it now. Quit complaining.

24 chapters complete and on the books. (ignore that pun) And I tell you, the second half of chapter 24 was an experience. It was deep. It is deep. I want you to read it. Now. Like right now. I want you to read the second half of chapter 24 right now. But you can’t. And I can’t let you. But I want you to, if that counts for anything. It probably doesn’t but I wanted it noted that I put it out there just in case. Anyway chapter 24 is done and I’m making my way to Chapter 25 immediately. I’m going to finish it and then I’m going to finish the rest of the chapters and then I’m going to edit them and then I’m going to get someone else to edit them and then you can read them all. I can’t wait. You shouldn’t be able to wait either. You have to wait but you shouldn’t be able too and if you are then there is something horribly wrong with you. But alas, if you’re normal and I suspect you are (except for that night with the whole missing pants thing, with the police and the riot squad and the guy from Best Buy [that night was legendary you were pretty awesome] ) then the wait shall soon be over… eventually.

 

Till next time,

 

Lefty

 

P.S. Don’t forget your pants.

Honesty in Writing

Life is chock full of deception. Little white lies, black fibs and colorless lies of omission are all over the place. You tell people they look nice when they don’t, you tell them you had fun when you didn’t,  and for the most part these are harmless half-truths, not even full-blown lies really. These everyday dishonesties are just the cordial terms or communications needed to keep out society civil, and I’ll be the first to say they’re all desperately needed. Imagine if you told your boss what you really think about his tie, or if you told your wife that that dress does make her look fat (of course there is no dress in the world that has ever made my wife look fat, she’s perfect she looks good in everything… (hi honey!)). Point is, if we didn’t keep up appearances the world would descend into chaos, a chaos of petty insults and minor injuries, made all the more painful because we know they’re true. We’d kill each other inside of a week if everyone expressed honest opinions openly and freely.

But not in writing, as cliché as it may sound, on the page honesty is the best policy. The writer is liberated, completely free to be as honest and as forth coming as they would like, as a matter of fact I have found that the more honest the more unrestricted the writer is, the more fulfilling the text. When writing, you don’t just say a character stinks (or neglect to say a character stinks when the characters does in fact ‘stink’) No, you describe, in raw unadulterated detail how the character smells. How your olfactory receptors are being attacked by the stench, how you can smell the  buckets of sweat that have dried and transformed themselves into layer after layer of caked on dirt and grime. You would not hesitate to mention how the unnatural body odor intermingled with the ever-present scent of sour clothing have now joined forces with what is undeniably the smell of trace amounts of urine and human feces which have not only invaded your nose and sense of smell but have now crossed the threshold of the senses and have gotten into your mouth and sense of taste and now have you seriously considering how to remove both your nose and tongue from your face if you are not able to breathe fresh air immediately.

Real life would never allow you the opportunity to be that honest. But in writing you’re free. Everything that goes unsaid in reality can be openly expressed in writing. What I find interesting is that I write fiction, which is all lies, large over arching lies, but they’re honest lies. So I guess that makes me an honest lair and since we’re being honest… I can live with that.

 

Till the next lie,

 

Lefty.

The Boy Who Cried…

I’m still working on Chapter 24 but I’ve decided to post an excerpt from the book. This is from early in the book and is the first appearance of the main protagonist. Comments are always welcome.

A key hung from a shoestring, and the shoestring hung loosely from the neck of a small boy. He fiddled with it, struggling to pull it from underneath his shirt and place it into the front door. He was sniveling; remnants of tears could be seen along either side of his face, along with a large welt stained across his right cheek, it would turn dark purple by tomorrow. A school yard fight, with a school yard bully was the source behind his unusually frantic disposition. He was usually a happy and joyful child, but this had been his first fight, ever. He was eight.
            He knew his mother would be upset that he had been fighting, but truthfully it wasn’t his fault. Nick Abernathy had followed him half-way home from school, teasing him about his father. He was dead. But Nick said he was probably just a “dead beat” who ran out on him and his mother, and she probably just made up the story about him being dead because it was better than admitting he and abandoned them. He tried explaining to Nick – along with the small group that had gathered to watch his persecution – that his father was a hero who had died bravely as a U.S. soldier. A hero who had died protecting everyone and everything that he loved. A hero like in his comic books, a hero like Powerman, or the Olympian. Nick and the other kids laughed at this explanation, then Nick pushed him… so he punched Nick, and our small boy fought for the first time, and he lost.
            The key served its purpose, there was a catch and a loud click as the door unlocked, and the sobbing young fighter made his way inside.
            “Mom!” he called out, but received no response. The house was dark, the curtains drawn over the windows, blocking out the afternoon sun. He darted to the bathroom, making a futile attempt to clean himself up. He splashed water on his face, ran a cold towel across his eyes and took a deep breath, all in the hopes the he could wipe away the smell, look and shaky nerves of a fresh fight. None of it worked, not even in the slightest.
            He crept slowly into his mother’s room, opting to get a jump on explaining himself first, before she found out what happened by some other ‘unscrupulous’ means. Her room was just as dark as the rest of the house, perhaps even more so.
            “Mom?” he called out again, his voice already prepped for pity. She still didn’t answer. She lay in her bed, her back to him, apparently sound asleep. It was odd, she never slept during the middle of the day, and her room – which usually carried the delicately sweet scent of roses and wildflowers – filled his small nose with the strong and pungent odor of what he thought to be rotten eggs, in actuality it was sulfur; specifically it was brimstone. He stepped forward, and at that moment a bright yellow butterfly fluttered from his mother’s bed, landed on his open, awaiting hand then floated silently out of the room. His heart sank and immediately he knew something was wrong. He ran to his mother’s side.
            “Mom? Mom wake up!” she didn’t respond.
            “Mom!” he shook her shoulder. “Mom wake up please!”
            Nothing.
            “Mom you have to wake up now! Please mom, wake up!” Hot, wet tears began to streak down his face once again. “Mom please wake up! Don’t – please I’m sorry, don’t leave me!” by now he was screaming his face wet with tears, his nose runny and red; he struggled to catch his breath between pleas of desperation.
            “Mom please, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m… so, so sorry.” He buried his face into her chest and neck, she was still warm, she stilled smelled of roses and wildflowers. He inhaled the sweet aroma, taking in long lungfuls, desperate to breathe in as much of her as he could before the rotten stench of sulfur and pain pushed her out of his memories.
            “Mom?” he called out again, this time more gently, less hysterically as if his overactive emotions were what kept her quite. But still she didn’t reply, she simply lay motionless, lifeless, her beautiful brown face frozen in the last expression she would ever wear, a peaceful and serene smile, now stained with his tears and phlegm.
            Nate,” whispered a hushed little voice from out of the darkness of the room. It sounded slightly like a small child, probably no older than the boy himself.Nate can you hear me?
            “Wh-Who is that, who’s there?” he sobbed.
           It’s ok, I’m a friend.”The voice replied.
            “Why can’t I see you?! Where are you?”
           There’s no need for you to see me, at least not right now, but I’m here, I’m with you now, that’s all that matter.
            “Well if you’re a friend then help me, my mom is hurt, o-o-or she’s sick, she needs to go to the hospital.”
           No Nate… she doesn’t, I’m sorry but it’s too late. She’s gone.
            “NO! You’re lying! She’s not gone, she’s not! She wouldn’t leave me here, she wouldn’t leave alone like this, she wouldn’t  I know she wouldn’t ..” Nate clenched tightly to his mother, crying frantically into her shoulder.
            Nate I’m sorry, it’s true. But you don’t have to be afraid, you’re not alone, you’ll never be alone. I’m here –
            “Shut up! Get away from me! Leave me alone! I don’t need you! I don’t need anybody… WE don’t need anybody, get away… get away.” Nate held on, sobbing and panting, determined not to let anyone pull him away.
            Nate… you have to leave… it’s time – it’s time for us to go.
            “No!” he sobbed.
           It’s too late, I’m sorry… we’re already gone… its already over… besides, you have a job interview in 3 hours.
            “What?!”
            Nate awoke covered in a cold damp sweat. Sunlight peered in through his bedroom window. He checked his alarm clock. 6:58 a.m. It was scheduled to go off in 2 minutes. He had his first job interview since graduating college at 10 a.m.
            “It’s going to be a long f***ing day.” He mumbled to himself, no one replied.
***

UMWP #1 Planet of the Apes- New World Order

Its January and it’s time for me to drop my first Unique Monthly Writing Project, for the blog. Now these will be monthly post that contain a short story, a portion of a short story or perhaps just a writing project idea. Totally open to critiquing and feedback.  This is basically an exercise to keep my writing sharp and allow you to follow along as my writing style develops and advances.

 This first UMWP is I guess what you would consider fan fic, or more precisely it’s spin off fiction. It’s set in the Planet of the Apes Universe, only a few thousand generations apart from any of the movies. Bottom line is I’m a big POA fan and decided to drop a character of my own into the world just to see how either of us would fare. Read it, enjoy it and let’s say if I get enough request via the comments, I’ll write and release Episode 2.

Enjoy!

Lefty

POA- New World Order

Episode 1: Sweat, Blood and Tears

I woke up with the distinctively irritating feeling of sand in my mouth. Sand and blood, the two formed a horrible combination when mixed, and also an overwhelming feeling of nausea when you had no idea where either of them had come from. I managed to pull myself up to my feet. At a complete lost for where I was, or how I had gotten there, I did the only thing I could think to do, and begin to walk toward the setting sun.

From the inside all deserts look the same. My mind scrambled trying to remember or recall, which one I currently in. The Sahara, the Mojave, the Gobi; was I dropped out of a plane, did I escape from some remote facility, did I just randomly pop out of the sand? I had no history, no memories, nothing. Amnesia in the truest sense, and it sucked. Then again I couldn’t even faithfully call it amnesia, as far as I knew 20 minutes ago I didn’t even exist. To have amnesia you have to at least have a past, you just don’t remember what it is, but when you’ve just popped up out of the sand, you don’t have a past. You’re just there.

I checked my person for equipment or even clues as to my identity. Heavy duty standard issue work pants, made from a chemically treated fabric, a cotton polyester blend, tough enough to offer me ample protection from the elements without stifling or restricting my movement. They were apparently designed for such conditions. How I knew this, I had no idea. Perhaps I was a tailor in a past life, either way the pockets were empty and I was still, in a word, clueless. I was wearing a matching jacket made from the same technologically advanced material, and though the heat beamed, I zipped up the jacket. Protection from the sun and sand was more important than a little sweat.

My feet sank deep into the shifting sand with every step. I stumbled, I’m not afraid to admit, over dune after dune with no particular destination in mind.

After walking for what seemed like hours, I could see, what I assumed to be, a group of crudely constructed buildings in the far distance. My excitement grew as the buildings turned out to be actual solid objects and not simply symptoms of my oncoming madness from the extended exposure to the sweltering heat and complete lack of water. I picked up my speed and by the time the falling sun begin to touch the horizon; I was closing in on what looked to be some type of abandoned village in the middle of nowhere. The collision of the Sun and Earth turned the world a brilliant color orange, setting the tone for the ominous showdown that was about to in sue.

By the time I hit the empty village the unbearable heat had done a complete 180 degree turn and had suddenly become mind numbingly cold, the only feeling of consistency was my unwavering thirst, that, and the translucent orange tint that covered everything visible to the naked eye as the sun sank deeper behind the strange planet’s distant curving peak. I entered the ghost town in a frenzy. I stumbled clumsily through the dirt and grit of the small plot of civilization that someone, at some point in time, had probably considered a town. The scene was indeed desolate, to say the least. The air smelled heavily of abandonment, the buildings and city structures showed multiple signs of neglect. It seemed to not have been populated by a living soul in years, perhaps decades, there was no real way for me to know, but in my current state, It was safe to say I didn’t care. Banging on the first door I came across, I began frantically calling out for help and begging some unseen Samaritan for water. Though in my heart, I knew I truly expected no one to answer my call. More than anything I believe I was screaming only to say, once I died, that I did indeed fight desperately for my own survival. Sad I know.

I reached for the door handle of a small shabby hovel of wood and stone, only to find it tightly locked. This surprised me, and against my better judgment a small glimmer of hope sparked from deep within my stomach. If someone thought to lock the door than that meant that that same someone had to be inside. I pressed my face against the smooth wood, it was warm! I heard the sound of shuffling feet on the other side, someone was there!

“Hey!” My voice cracked and trembled as my throat screamed for some type of moisture. “Is anybody there?! I-I was out in the desert; I just need some water, maybe something to eat! I-I-I can pay! Please, I have money!” I lied. I reached into my pockets to find nothing but lint, my main goal was to get that door open, the details, I figured, could be worked out after I avoided dying of thirst, hunger or hypothermia.

I begin to bang even harder. My life depended on it. “Hey! Open this door, are you going to let me freaking die out here! I’m asking you for help”

“Please,” a soft whimper came from the other side of the closed door. “Please go away, we can’t help you.”

“Is someone there?” the sound of another voice calmed by frantic pounding and yelling, it wasn’t until hearing the comfort of another sentient life form that I realized how lonely and afraid I had been, and now, how absolutely crazy I must have sounded. “Please, please, please I understand. I just need some water. I woke up in the desert alone, I’ve been walking for hours, just some water please that’s all I ask then I’ll leave you alone.”

The voice on the other side went quite, the shuffling stopped. Perhaps a few seconds passed without a single sound from the other side of the door. I begin to wonder if I had imagined the shuffling, imagined the voice, I begin to panic, the feeling of dread and loneliness begin to set back in. The only thing worst then dying of thirst and starvation in the middle of nowhere is going insane before dying of thirst and starvation in the middle of nowhere. I began beating on the door again, determined to make the phantom voice appear once again. “Hey! Hey!” I screamed as loud as my voice would allow. “Are you still in there?”

“Please,” the phantom voice returned even softer than before “You have to be quiet, if I give you water do you promise to leave”

“Yes” I responded without hesitation. Hell, at that point I would have agreed to anything, anything for the promise of water and to keep the voice from disappearing again. “I’ll leave, I promise just please, please give me some water.”

“Sister, no!” another voice from behind emerged.

“Be quiet, if he keeps banging and screaming he’ll attract them for sure, this is the only way.”

It wasn’t until I heard the other voice, which sounded distinctly like that of a young boy, that I was able to fully appreciate the gentleness and femininity of the phantom voice. It was a soothing and mellow sound, and for a moment I allowed its rhythmic melody to dance in my mind, focusing more on its beauty, as oppose to the actual words. As it turns out I should have been a lot more focused on the “them” and finding out exactly why they were so hell bent on not “attracting” their attention. Regretfully now I admit, I did not.

Once again the shuffling stopped. The locks on the door began to unlatch themselves, slowly the door crept open, I breathed a sigh of relief, followed quickly and swiftly by a gasp of complete and utter horror.

The door opened slightly only to reveal an Ape standing behind it, slightly peeking out from around the edge of the door. And then, right before I could even let out a girlish scream of absolute terror, it spoke.

“Well, what are you waiting for come in!” She spoke in a horsed whisper. She? It was her, the phantom voice was the ape girl. The room began to spin, maybe it was the sudden drop in temperature, the lack of water, whatever extenuating circumstance that brought me to the twilight zone, but my fragile mind had reached its breaking point, and right before my mind passed into absolute oblivion, I managed to choke out the words

“You’re a monkey.” And with that I begin a face first descent into the hard cold wooden floor of the doorway, and passed out before I hit the ground.

To Be Continued…

Justice

*The following is a short story or perhaps more of an idea for one, I wrote based off of a dream I had roughly a year ago. I’ve had thoughts of turning it into a larger work, but figured I’d also share it here with you as well. Considering recent events, it would seem dreams have no expiration date. It’s still in a rough format and is by no means a final product. Feedback is welcomed.

We stood in an extremely long line that now lay behind me, and seemed to trail off into forever. The line lead into a large open room with high ceilings similar to a gymnasium or perhaps an airplane hanger, it is hard to say which.
 On the wall furthest from the entrance stood 8 to 10 metal body cast dummies, shaped like the head and torso of a man.  The metal dummies gave off an intense heat, like opening an oven at 400 degrees without first preparing yourself for the sudden change in temperature. A rubber dummy lay outfitted on top of the metal cast dummy, the rubber was thick, like car tires, and seemed unaffected by the heat coming from the metal which lay directly beneath it. The heat itself seemed only present to stop onlookers from loitering. It forced one to do their duty and move along, quickly away from the dummies, where prolonged exposure to the heat was unbearable. Not necessarily physically damaging you see, only highly uncomfortable, which kept the endless line moving relatively quickly, serving its purpose to perfection and turning out to be quite ingenious.
            My position in line however had yet to get to the dummies. My position was at the point where we picked up knives, long sharp knives with wooden handles. They reminded me of the cooking knives my mother use to have when I was a child. I took my knife in hand, testing the sharpness of it with the tip of its metal blade vs. the end of my fleshy finger. The knife won, pricking my finger tip. I bleed a little.
            Placing the blade of the knife under my arm, I put my wounded finger in my mouth and shuffled along maintaining my position in line. As we got closer to the back of the room I could see those that were positioned in front of me stabbing the rubber dummies with the knives we had just received. There seemed to be no mandatory or predetermined number of times one was suppose to stab the dummies, but it looked as if everyone was taking 3 to 4 stabs each. ‘Enough to show you meant it.’ seemed to be the unwritten rule. I followed suit.
            The stabbing of the rubber man felt grotesque. The rubber body felt by no means human, however the feelings it recreated were the same. The stabbings were violent, and the cuts left in the rubber were jagged and distorted. The rubber would grab hold to the metal blade on each thrust, forcing you to use greater strength upon withdraw, and then even more on the following thrust. So even the most reluctant participant was stabbing like a well experienced psychopath by the third and fourth stroke. Even me.
My knife slid past the rubber and scraped the metal cast that lay underneath, sending a horrifying chill down my spine. I was struck with the most unbearable feeling, like fingernails on a chalkboard every time the two metals touched. After making my stabs I quickly moved along to the bleacher like seating setup along the wall space not occupied by the stabbing dummies or the large double door entrance. Many others had already taken their seats after their stabbings, knives still in hand.
I could see my cousin begin to move toward a set of bleaches not far from the back of the gym. It was not the best angle to see the open floor area in the middle of the room that seemed to be the new focus of the event, but it was my cousin and a familiar face so I followed suit. I greeted my family, who looked glad to see me as always, and motioned to two others who would be joining us soon. From my seat I could still see, waiting in line after just getting his knives, Ivan Denton, an old school yard chum of mine that I had always enjoyed talking and joking with. I had not seen him and awhile, and can admit, was excited to catch up with him on the time that had passed. I decided to flag him down once he had gotten closer to our seats so that he and his brother John, who was standing near him in line, could join us. As well I figured I would watch him stab the dummies also. My seating was perfect to watch him go through the same motions that I had just went through.
            Ivan was  big, well not much bigger than myself, actually shorter but much better built, we had began high school together at roughly the same size but his unbelievable work ethic forced his body to shoot past and outweigh my own by almost twice my size by graduation.
That was some time ago, however still, his size and stern demeanor gave him a very intimidating look. Ivan, though very lighthearted and friendly, wore a permanent scowl on his face, as if he was always on the brink of losing his patience. It was perfect for the football, which we had played together during high school. The stern facial expression seemed to be hereditary as his brother had the exact same look even though he was much smaller.
I watched expecting Ivan to stab the dummies viciously perhaps even cutting through the metal as well, but he never did. He hovered by the rubber dummies, but he never thrust his knife toward them. Instead after everyone else had done there stabbing he moved toward the center of the gym, his brother along with him, as did a few other people. Knives still in hand.
            Behind them, a gray curtain dropped hiding the metal and rubber dummies and further emphasizing the open area in the middle of the room.
            Ivan and the others stepped into a white box that had been taped off in the middle floor. A voice spoke clearly from a P.A. System from speakers that I could not see.        “These men are responsible for murder, if they can survive with out being stabbed they will be tried individually.”
            At this a few people removed themselves from the stands and entered the white square with the intentions on stabbing my former classmate… Their faces wore smug smiles as if proud to be the ones dispensing this twisted idea of justice. A whistle blew from the unseen speaker and they began. The men danced around each other swinging the knives wildly. The criminals seemed to have no real strategy only to remain uncut for as long as they could, for the other men it was just the opposite. Every time a man was finally cornered and stabbed he screamed loudly, and every time my heart broke. My mind went back to the rubber dummy that I had stabbed earlier, and my stomach turned. It was like I had stabbed the men myself… that was my contribution to this sick game. The men were fell one by one, and  the Chasers came in all shapes and sizes young and old, they had not really outnumbered the criminals at first but as each man was stabbed he seemed to disappear and by now the Chasers outnumbered the criminals by 2 to 1. They wrangled them into corners and wrestled them down to the ground, starting by simply poking them in the arm drawing blood, sealing there fate, but as the match progressed that seem to grow even more vicious and more merciless. The Chasers did not need stab them to death, no, only an open wound was necessary, bleeding men were carried away by larger, heavily armed guards. Carried off to their own private executions, to be stabbed as many times as the rubber dummy was stabbed I suppose. Making us all murderers in a sense, at least that’s the feeling of guilt I got. I leaned over to my cousin who seemed to be watching with no particular interest and spoke words that I knew could get me into serious amount of trouble
            “You know this is bullshit right?”
            “This is just how things are” he replied.
            Another man had just been stabbed. A Chaser had him pinned to the ground with his legs wrapped around the criminals and holding his torso tightly from behind so he had nowhere to move to. A boy around the age of 12 or perhaps 13 stood over them. He stabbed the criminal in the arm, looking down upon him with a feeling of extreme delight. He had a Mohawk which I have always felt looked incredibly stupid on everyone who wore it, on him, especially so. His smugness irritated me to know end his look of satisfaction after claiming the life of another in the name of justice. He reminded me of the State Men, enforcers of our “unnatural law” and my disdain for him grew even more.       By now the only man left was Ivan. The Chasers began to surround him, moving in reluctantly, his intimidation had reach even them, but it would only last for so long, I hoped that he would at least slash open the throat of the young boy with the Mohawk, I hoped for it desperately. What happened next is really irrelevant Ivan’s capture or escape, perhaps his individual trial, none of it really matters. The damage had been done since the first thrust into the first dummy. When we allowed for the first man to be carried away when his fate hung only by a thread. When we allowed for a system of revenge labeled justice to be the law of our land, but what could be done, like everyone else I sat by and said or did nothing. Perhaps it is as my Cousin said “this is how things are” this is our justice system I guess it is not perfect but it seems to get the job done, or does it?